Sangria is a wine-based cocktail. Its roots are found in Spain where a red wine punch was created with fresh fruit and brandy. In 1964, Spain brought sangria to the World's Fair in New York City and this humble drink was readily embraced as a refreshing and fruity libation.
The Strawberry Sangria now being served at Slightly North of Broad was created with locally grown Johns Island strawberries, Aperol, Aix Rose, fresh basil and The Rare Wine Co. Historic Series: Charleston Sercial Special Reserve Madeira.
The Madeira has a story in its own right. It was served at the signing of the Declaration of Independence and at the inauguration of George Washington. After the Civil War, Madeira fell out of favor for many reasons and it was not until 1998 that the Rare Wine Co. produced the Charleston Sercial Special Reserve, whose dry and nutty flavors were preferred by Charleston planters and wealthy merchants.
With this punch's roots firmly planted in Charleston, this sangria also was specifically created for a New York City cocktail party hosted April 14 by Bon Appetit magazine and the Charleston Visitors Bureau.
Chefs Frank Lee of SNOB, Jeremiah Bacon of the Macintosh and Oak Steakhouse and Mike Lata of FIG and The Ordinary were invited to a Bon Appetit Kitchen cocktail party where they developed local recipes for the event. This drink was so well-received it is now on the menu at Slightly North of Broad.
The ingredients of this cocktail speak to spring, refreshment and quenching thirst. Those who enjoy wine spritzers, “dry” adult beverages and the natural sweetness of fruit should find the beverage satisfying. With the addition of Aperol, it is an aperitif; and with the inclusion of Sercial Madeira, it works well as a sipping cocktail.
The Strawberry Sangria is a collaboration between Chef Lee and Stacey Walsh, Slightly North of Broad's restaurant manager and winner of the 2015 Charleston Wine & Food Festival Top Sommelier Blind Tasting Competition.